Andrew McCarthy is asking a good question. “Let’s say you are an authentically moderate Muslim.” You might have been born in a Muslim country or even converted to Islam. You might even be a devout Muslim who rejects the idea of jihad.
So then he asks this question. “Is there any insulting thing I could say, no matter how provocative, or any demeaning video I could show you, no matter how lurid, that would convince you to join ISIS?”
He even goes in to clarify that he is not asking if you would be offended by his statement or by a video. But he wonders if anything said by a presidential candidate, political commentator, or video would turn you into an Islamic jihadist. The answer, of course, is no. You may not like what someone said or what you saw on a video, but that would not turn you into a terrorist.
He brings this up for some very good reasons. First, you have the Democratic presidential debates where candidates like Hillary Clinton claim that the rhetoric of Republicans (especially Donald Trump) is turning people to ISIS. In other words, we wouldn’t have so many radical Muslims if certain candidates did not say things to incite them.
Second, you have the president arguing that the presence of Guantanamo Bay serves as a recruitment tool for jihadists. That is the major reason he has given for pledging to shut it down.
Third, you even have comments in the Republican presidential debates that suggest that these horrible dictators in the Middle East are why we have a problem with terrorism today.
The question that Andrew McCarthy asked is essentially the same one he asked a jury to consider when he prosecuted the jihadists responsible for the first attack on the World Trade Center. The jihadists on trial tried to argue that it was U.S. foreign policy and anti-Muslim bias that caused them to attack America. The jury didn’t buy it then. We shouldn’t buy it now.